5 Jul 2013

Khazanah Yang Hilang


Banyak hasil kesusteraan Melayu yang telah musnah ditelan zaman dan peperangan. Antara punca kemusnahan tulisan kesusteraan Melayu adalah seperti lenyapnya Kerajaan Seri Wijaya serta kedatangan agama Islam ke alam Melayu, yang membawa kepada lenyapnya segala naskah-naskah kesusasteraan Melayu yang berasal dari zaman Hindu dahulu.

Selain itu kerana istana raja ialah menjadi tempat perhimpunan buku-buku, kebanyakannya musnah binasa di makan api seperti dalam peristiwa kebakaran istana Sultan Mansor Shah seperti tersebut kesahnya di dalam buku Sejarah Melayu yang mengatakan bahawa dalam peristiwa itulah kerajaan daripada Sang Nila Utama telah dibakar.

Selain itu dengan kejatuhan kerajaan Melaka, banyak kehilangan naskah-naskah kesusasteraan lama Melayu apabila Kerajaan Melayu Melaka alah dilanggar oleh Feringgi banyak buku dan kitab yang musnah terbakar atau tenggelam bersama Flor De La Mar (Flower of the seas). Kapal laksamana Alfonso De Albuquerque dari Portugis yang dipercayai tenggelam di perairan Aceh Tamiang dan Pasai pada Disember 1511 membawa banyak harta rampasan perang Melaka.

Selain itu berlaku juga kebakaran pada sebuah kapal yang bernama the Fame yang dalam pelayaran ke British. Dalam kebakaran itu turut musnah segala muatannya iaitu berbagai khazanah termasuklah perpustakaan lama Melayu yang telah di kumpulkan oleh Tuan Raffles.

Menurut keterangan Abdullah Abdul Kadir Munshi dalam hikayatnya, nyatalah amat banyak perpustakaan lama Melayu yang telah musnah dalam kebakaran kapal the Fame itu. Ada pun perpustakaan lama melayu, iaitu kitab-kitab, hikayat-hikayat dan syair-syair yang musnah itu menurut Hikayat Abdullah penuh berisi di dalam tiga buah peti kulit panjang-panjang sedepa, diantaranya ada kira-kira tiga ratus buah buku-buku yang telah dijilid, tiada termasuk naskah-naskah yang belum berjilid, yang bercerai-berai, bergulung dan yang berhelai-helai. Selain dari itu ada lagi duah buah peti penuh berisi dengan surat-surat dan kitab-kitab Jawa, Bali dan Bugis dan tulisan-tulisan di atas daun lontar.

Sesungguhnya adalah terbukti bahawa segala khazanah yang telah musnah didalam kebakaran kapal the Fame itu amat tinggi nilainya kepada tuan Raffles, kerana ada tersebut di dalam buku yang bernama “ Raffles “ of Singapore karangan Reginald Coupland, mengatakan bahawa berbagai khazanah yang telah dikumpulkan oleh Raffles sebanyak muatan lebih sebuah kapal telah sudah pun dihantarkan ke England beberapa lama terdahulu daripada peristiwa kebakaran kapal the Fame itu, tetapi segala khazanah yang terpilih dan lebih-lebih di hargainya telah dikemudiankan oleh Raffles dengan tujuan ia sendiri hendak memerhatikan keselamatan khazanah-khazanah itu dalam pelayaran. Malangnya semuanya itu telah musnah, termasuklah segala naskah buku-buku, surat-surat, tulisan di daun-daun lontar dan sebainya yang telah di simpan kedalam peti-peti oleh munshi Abdullah di Singapura itu serta beberapa banyak lagi khazanah-khazanah yang telah terkumpul dan dibawa daripada Bencoolen.

Tenggelamnya Si Kuntum Laut

Flor de la Mar,  atau Flor do Mar (Si Kuntum Laut) adalah kapal nau milik Portugis yang boleh menjangkau berat sehingga 400 tan, kapal ini direkodkan telah menyertai pelayaran lebih dari 9 tahun di Lautan India sehingga akhirnya dilaporkan karam pada November 1511. Kapal tersebut dibuat di Lisbon pada 1502. Pelayaran pertamanya adalah dibawah arahan pengemudian Estavao de Gama (abang kepada Vasco de Gama). Namun pada pelayaran kedua, kapal ini telah dibawa ke India oleh pihak Portugis pada tahun 1505. Pada pelayaran balik, ia telah belayar disekeliling pantai Tanjung Harapan sebelum kembali ke Mozambique untuk diperbaiki. Selepas dibaiki, Ia menyertai ekspedisi penjajahan Ormuz pada tahun 1507. Juga mengikuti ekspedisi pertempuran Diu pada tahun 1509, berjaya menawan Goa pada tahun 1510.

Kapal Flor de la Mar juga turut menjadi saksi tentang pelayaran Afonso de Albuquerque, apabila beliau kembali dalam kejayaan menawan kota Melaka pada 1511, dimana kapal tersebut dipenuhi dengan pelbagai barangan berharga dan harta yang melimpah ruah termasuk berdozen-dozen emas, tembikar, khazanah manuskrip yang dianggarkan bernilai berbillion-billion pound untuk Raja Portugis. Namun dalam pelayaran akhir tersebut, kapal ini telah karam dan tenggelam di Selat Melaka. Atas sebab itu kehilangannya terus menjadi misteri, dan hak empunya bangkai yang masih belum dijumpai masih kekal menjadi kontroversi. Replika kapal telah diwujudkan dan diabadikan sebagai rumah pameran untuk Muzium Maritim di Melaka, Malaysia sehingga ke hari ini.


Kehilangan Flor de la Mar dilaporkan :
"…Selepas merampas harta, Portugis kembali belayar ke Goa dibawah arahan Alfonso de Albuquerque dengan 4 kapal yang lain dan tongkang. Cuaca adalah baik dengan laut yang tenang apabila tiba-tiba; ketika belayar pada waktu malam disepanjang pesisir pantai Sumatera, kapal telah diserang oleh taufan yang dahsyat dengan ombak yang besar dan panah petir. Cuba untuk mencari perlindungan di pantai, Capitan lama dan gemilang telah menjadi kapal karam di pantai. Tubuh busuk dan lamanya itu terbuka sendiri dan kapal telah terbelah mejadi 2 bahagian. Bahagian belakang tenggelam sepenuhnya dibawah pasir dan akhirnya dimusnahkan oleh ombak.

Di dek, Albuquerque berusaha menyelamatkan anak perempuan dari salah seorang hambanya yang sedang menunggu ajal. Dalam situasi penuh dahsyat, sampan siar dari kapal terdekat, the Trinity, berjaya menyelamatkan Laksamana dan beberapa orang Portugis, 5 jumlahnya. Namun, kapal tersebut telah hilang sepenuhnya dengan kekayaan barangan muatannya dan lebih 400 orang laki-laki...Dengan Flor do Mar hilang akan harta karunnya untuk Raja, emas, mutiara, berlian dan batu permata. Antara kesan-kesan peribadi Gabenor dua singa dalam loyang dan gelang sihir yang terkenal Raja Sabandar ...”
Dari lapor an asal Albuquerque yang diterjemahkan kedalam bahasa Melayu (surat ditulis panjang):
“Wang dalam emas, perak, tembaga, dan timah dicipta di Melaka. Kebanyakan wang syiling timah hilang dalam Flor do Mar…"

Sebuah misteri dan kontrovesi 

Kedudukan bangkai kapal masih terus menjadi kontroversi sehingga ke hari ini. Empunya pemilikan kapal juga masih terus menjadi kontroversi ada pihak yang menuding jari mengatakan bangkai kapal dan segala isinya termasuk limpahan hartanya masih tetap milik Portugis, ada pula mengatakan milik Malaysia kerana apabila kapal itu datang ke Melaka, ia kosong, rekod menunjukkan segala muatan kapal dan limpahan harta karun yang limpah ruah adalah milik kerajaan negeri Melaka yang dirampas Portugis. Indonesia pula mendakwa, laporan sejarah kapal karam menyatakan kedudukan relatif kapal karam itu jelas berada diperairan negaranya. Robert Marx, pencari harta karun Amerika berkata, dia telah menghabiskan 20 juta dollar Amerika dalam projek untuk membawa Flor de la mar ke permukaan. Menurutnya: Ia (Flor de la mar) ialah kapal kaya raya yang telah hilang di lautan, dengan ianya menampung 200 tong dipenuhi batu permata berharga, berlian dari saiz kecil setengah inci sehingga sebesar genggam manusia."


The Flor de la Mar: A Treasure Ship Still Awaiting Discovery



The ship was called the Flor de la Mar: Flower of the Sea.

Built in 1502, weighing 400 tons, and made for traveling from Portugal to India and back, it was twice the size of other ships that had gone on the run.

This type of vessel was called a ‘carraca’ or ‘nao’ by the Spanish, ‘caraque’ or ‘nef’ in French, and ‘carrack’ in English. In the Flor’s homeland of Portugal, the ship was known as a “nau”.

The Flor was part of an era of exploration, colonization, and exploitation. Three masts and six sails, square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast and lateen-rigged on the mizzenmast, drove the tall, rounded hull through thousands of miles of ocean waters.

Ships of this type opened the riches of distant countries far away to European conquerors. Famous relatives to the Flor de la Mar include Columbus’ Santa Maria, Vasco de Gama’s São Gabriel, and Magellan’s Victoria.

Largest Naval Treasure Ever Lost

The Flor was something of a prototype for what would become the typical 16th Century India nau.

The ship’s experience with difficulties maneuvering also led to the institutionalization of the “outer route.” Captains of heavily loaded big ships were ordered to sail east of Madagascar rather than navigating the fast Mozambique Channel.

The Flor’s service life had been exceptionally long for a ship on the India run. Built for only three or four years of work, she lasted from 1502-1511. However, her design made her dangerously unseaworthy when fully loaded, and her service in various campaigns had necessitated many repairs.

Eventually, these issues would play a part in the Flor sailing into history with what some claim is the largest naval treasure ever lost.

In command of the Flor was Alfonso de Albuquerque. He was known (depending on your perspective) as The Great, The Terrible, The Portuguese Mars, The Caesar of the East, and The Lion of the Sea.

Alfonso was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, whose titles included Duke of Goa and Governor of Portuguese India.

His successes in conquest were many. Included in these, he had put the King of Cochin in power, built a fort in Cochin (now known as Kochi, in western India), and established the foundation for Portugal’s empire in the East.

He had commanded a squadron of ships that sailed against the island of Ormuz in 1507: one of the chief centers of commerce in the East. He had brought Goa under Portuguese authority in 1510 and captured Malacca-one of the richest cities in the world at the time- in 1511. His successful strategy of trying to close all Indian Ocean naval passages imposed Portuguese power in a significant portion of Asia.

The Ship’s Treasure

It seems Alonso did not believe in the expression, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Most of his riches were placed in one ship: an enormous treasure filled the hold of the Flor de la Mar.

As you might recall, the Flor’s design meant that it was dangerous and hard to maneuver when filled to capacity as well as having been repaired numerous times.

Despite the ship’s unsafe condition, Albuquerque used it for its large capacity to transport his display of Malaccan treasures. There was also an impressive tribute from the Kingdom of Siam (Thailand) to the king of Portugal and all of Alfonso de Albuquerque’s own fortune.

It was the largest treasure ever assembled by the Portuguese navy, and included 60 tons of gold from the house of the Sultan of Malacca. Supposedly, 200 gem chests were filled with diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

Accompanied by four other ships, the Flor set sail for Portugal in November, 1511.

Empire’s Labor Lost

Perhaps in a stroke of irony, after taking Malacca’s riches, a violent storm blew up in the Straits of Malacca. The Flor de la Mar was shipwrecked on the reefs near the Straits, just northeast of Sumatra.

The ship broke in two, and many were lost at sea. In addition, the treasure disappeared in the violent waves of the storm.
Alonso, however, was saved. He jumped into a lifeboat with five of his officers.

Following successes in other efforts, his detractors in the Portuguese court moved against him. They inspired King Manuel to replace Albuquerque with a personal enemy, Lopo Soares de Albergaria.

Alonso de Albuquerque received news of this while at sea, and it was too much for him to bear. He died aboard ship on December 15, 1515.

The Treasure Hunt

As you might expect, treasure seekers have searched for this exceptionally rich prize ever since the first gem-filled chest got wet.

One treasure hunter, Robert Marx, has reportedly spent somewhere around $20 million trying to find the Flor de la Mar. According to Marx’s statements, “…it’s the richest vessel ever lost at sea, with its hold loaded with 200 coffers of precious stones, diamonds from the small half-inch size to the size of a man’s fist.”

As far as we know, nobody’s found it yet.

Sumber : top secret writers


Flor de la Mar
by Eriko Shima-Tsuno

Flor de la Mar, laden with treasures stolen from the Melaka kingdom, sank in 1512 in the Aru Strait in the region of North Eastern Sumatera. Although marine archaeologists and treasure hunters have made numerous attempts to recover the ship, its location remains a mystery.

Flor de la Mar is entwined in the history of the Portuguese endeavor to control the maritime trade in the East and as such, is also part of the history of Melaka.

Melaka was founded around the year 1400 and its strategic location between the maritime trade routes of East and West enabled it to grow into an internationally known port city. The economic power of Melaka depended on trade and the most important commodity traded was spices. At that time spices were very much needed, not only to add flavors in cooking, but also for preserving raw food such as meat, especially for winter. As such, spices fetched a very high price in Europe; for example, 1kg of pepper had the same value as 1kg of gold, and 1 ounce of nutmeg was equivalent to 7 oxen.

In those days, the Portuguese bought spices from the Venetians, who bought spices from Muslim traders in Egypt and Syria. The tight control that the Venetians had over the flow of spices into Europe was the reason for the high prices making the Portuguese determined to find a direct route to the source of the spices. Thus in the 15th century, Portuguese rulers initiated voyages of discovery.

In 1498 Vasco da Gama reached the Malabar Coast of India – the source of pepper. Here, he heard about Melaka and of the spice islands further east. In 1511, Portugal attacked Melaka with 18 ships; one of which was the Flor de la Mar. The Portuguese made their first attack on the port of Melaka on 25 July 1511 but failed. On 10 August 1511, they tried again and on 24 August 1511, the Portuguese finally captured Melaka. At this time, the armada was led by Alfonso de Albuquerque.

After looting Melaka, Albuquerque wanted to send the looted treasure to the court of the Portuguese king, King Manuel 1. The Flor de la Mar, at 400 tons, was the largest ship in the fleet and hence it was chosen to transport the treasure back to Portugal. The treasure included bronze lions, jewelry, gold-plated palanquins, precious stones, Melakan embroidery as well as young slaves. The Flor de la Mar, along with 3 other ships, namely the Enxobregas, Trinidade and Jong Jawa sailed for Goa, India on 20 January 1512 with Albuquerque at the helm. It never made it to Goa. After 6 days at sea, it was caught in a storm and sank just off Sumatra, taking down with it the riches of the Melaka kingdom.

Till today the location of the ship remains a mystery. Some maritime archaeologists say that their team’s ultimate challenge would be to embark on the recovery of the Flor de la Mar. I really hope that this shipwreck would be found and the treasures restored to the Malaysian people someday.

Sumber : museum volunteers

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